Supreme Court seeks Centre’s response on mismanagement of healthcare facilities

Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh appeared on behalf of the petitioner and claimed that standard guidelines for healthcare establishments, treatment protocols have to be there since 70% of healthcare is in private hands.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice on Public Interest Litigation raising the issue over mismanagement of healthcare facilities.

The PIL filed by Jan Swasthya Abhiyan said that private healthcare centers, hospitals exploit patients and do not follow uniform treatment protocols. Healthcare facilities are not working properly, patients are being overcharged and smaller clinics/labs don’t have proper medical personnel, alleged the PIL.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh appeared on behalf of the petitioner and claimed that standard guidelines for healthcare establishments, treatment protocols have to be there since 70% of healthcare is in private hands. In Rajya Sabha, there was a discussion on heart microsurgeries.

Parikh further argued that the petitioner sent a representation to the Central government but there was no response. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Ministry of Health set out a “patient’s Charter” which has not yet been implemented.

Eleven states had adopted the registration resolution. The Health ministry letter said that the Government has been receiving numerous complaints of gross overcharging, forcing patients to purchase hospital medicines and equipment, the Senior Counsel added.

Considering the arguments, the Chief Justice of India, Justice N.V. Ramana, said, “Question is, we need to be practical. Registration rules are there. We expect that the small clinical centres and labs have qualified essential personnel including MBBS, MD doctors. It’s very burdensome to them. Ultimately they pass the burden to the patients.” The Apex Court issued notice to the Union with the hope that the government will respond.

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